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Di
02-21-2007, 12:03 AM
Liek OMG what's with all these Survival threads recently? It's crazy. And here's another one. /sigh But a lot of people have been yelling at me to post this for a while, and I told the people at the GAGG who asked about it I'd post it, so there I'm posting it.

I've been working with ATS again for a solid 4-5 months after I got bored with other decks, and I've been rather impressed with the results. It's a very different deck now than it was in its older days, but of course that's what happens when the format turns to shit. I've been playing to deck at local tournaments for a while with success, and recently at the GAGG tournament I was around the top seed until I got shit on by bad draws, but that happens. Anyway, this deck shouldn't really much of an introduction, so I'll just go strait to the decklist. I'll just note it's slighly different than the one I played at the GAGG

EATS!
A masterpiece by me!
list edited: 4/7/07


4 Survival of the Fittest
4 Brainstorm
4 Cabal Therapy

1 Tradewind Rider
1 Quirion Ranger
2 Eternal Witness

1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Anger
1 Genesis

3 Dark Confidant
3 Flametongue Kavu
1 Masticore
1 Bone Shredder
1 Tin Street Hooligan
1 Ravenous Baloth

4 Tinder Wall
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Werebear
1 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary

3 Windswept Heath
3 Wooded Foothills
4 Tropical Island
4 Bayou
3 Taiga
3 Forest


Sideboard:
3 Engineered Plague
1 Goblin Pyromancer
1 Pithing Needle
2 Null Rod
3 Duress
3 Mesmeric Fiend
2 Arcane Laboratory


Alright, um where to begin. I guess I can start off with the decklist. As you may notice, there are a lot of changes in it. All those card choices are whatnot will be explained later, so don't yell at me because I'll be getting to it. This deck is no longer a control-combo deck as it once was, but now is primarily an aggro-control deck. It can play similiar to RGSA or other aggressive variants, or it can play defensive and control if it needs to. This is why I like the deck so much, as it yields a great deal of versatility and can adapt very well to situations. Now, it looks like there are a lot of one-ofs (or more than their should be), but there really are only 3 excluding the graveyard creatures: Ranger, Tin Street, and Baloth. It looks like more, but I'll explain that below. But with basically 3 silver bullets, the deck has greatly cut down on it's number of weaker slots and maximized it's threat density to the point where running without a Survival isn't an issue at all. With that said, lets go to card choices.

Survival: Yep.

Brainstorm: I shouldn't need to explain this, but some people are apparently stupid. So, I won't explain and let them continue to be stupid.

Cabal Therapy: I switched to black for the disruption element, and Therapy is like really good. Maindeck over Duress because it's not awful against Goblins, and has pretty good synergy with the 200 maindeck creatures.

Tradewind Rider: This guy's role has changed a ton since the old times. The deck no longer focuses on him for a controlling role, but he's there as a support role to force through attackers. He also plays really good defense. A lot of people have been bashing him and believe the deck would be better without it (hence, making it not ATS), but they don't understand how useful he is. It's basically a recurring FTK every turn, and it protects your own men. It's a one card machine that can change a situation and adapt the deck in one fell swoop. Regardless of what you naysayers are chiming, it stays.

Quirion Ranger: Saves you from Wasteland, adds a lot of mana with Rofellos, is good with BoP/Bear/Tradewind, generally amazing utility creature. Debating going up to 2, but that 2nd slot is currently in possession of Rofellos.

Eternal Witness: No explanation necessary. I'd probably go up to 3 if there was room, but honestly I find myself needing Witness less and less as time goes by. Not that it's use has gotten worse, but the deck just hasn't had too many problems when it just tutors up another copy of whatever.

Squee/Anger/Genesis: Yea. Also, to those retarded few who don't maindeck Genesis, do yourself a favor and put it back in. It single-handedly wins control matchups.

Dark Confidant: The other reason I went to the black splash. It's the Survival on legs, and allows the deck to create an advantage without Survival on the table. Originally it was up to 4, but between drawing multiples and hitting 4cc creatures (which it doesn't do nearly as often as you'd think) I decided to cut down to 3. I think it's the right number, and it's been working insanely well.

FTK/Bone Shredder/Masticore: Think of this as 4 FTK, but a lot better. While all those other Survival decks run their narrow 4 FTK and shit the bed to Silver Knight, I like a little versatility with my removal. Shredder, although weak, kills a turn earlier than the others and dodges pro-red. Masticore is a board sweeper against Goblins and other aggro, and has the potential to kill bigger creatures like Exalted Angel, Mystic Enforcer, etc if Tradewind is not around. You won't see FTK do that.

Tin Street Hooligan: Best artifact removal slot there is. It's absolutely huge that it costs 2 cc as opposed to 3, because it can hit before Vial gets dumb and before Jitte gets online.

Ravenous Baloth: The deck needs some form of life gain. I don't play white, so Baloth is the strongest option there is.

Tinder Wall: My favorite inclusion to the deck. Everyone who's seen the deck in action has supported this guy as well, and I think it's really underrated. My main reason for including him was to block Goblin Lackey on turn 1 and not die to a Mogg Fanatic, but it also happens to accelerate out into turn 2 Tradewind Riders and FTKs. Most decks aren't too happy facing an active Tradewind Rider by turn 3. Oh, it also has the random ability to hit off Warcheifs and Piledrivers and ass 2 creatures.

Werebear: They replaced Wall of Roots. The deck needed something other than a Wall because it needed to act more aggressive to work in the metagame. Werebear is the perfect answer to this. It's an elf from like turns 1-4 at the latest, then it's a beast. When you throw 3 of them into play, hasted on turn 5, it makes it difficult for the opponent to win.

Birds of Paradise: No reason necessary. Yea, some Survival decks are against running stuff like Birds nowadays and guess what, those decks are bad because they are slow as hell. Survival needs all the early boost it can afford, and this is the best option in a 4color deck. I'm also not cutting them because they are foil and pretty.

Rofellos: Heart and soul of the acceleration. I ran only one at the GAGG, but was begging for 2 all day long. It still remains the opposing decks' top priority to kill, and generally he dies after getting only a couple activations if the opponent is smart. Because of this, I'm running another one to tutor up. When he dies, I almost always want to get him back, and it's a pain to pay 5 mana to get him and play him, whether it be Genesis or Witness. It's a lot easier to just tutor another one next turn and resume your manacrazy dumbness. Also note, I'm testing a 2nd Quirion Ranger in the 2nd Rofellos slot, because I'm debating whether or not that might be more important, but I'll have to wait and see.

Manabase: I know, 19 lands is low, especially when there are 10 nonbasics. But I really haven't seen mana issues all that often. The deck has 14 creatures that act as mana accelerants, so the manabase actually accounts for over half the deck. Generally, there aren't issues unless I'm seeing like serious rape (by which I mean 4+ cards against the manabase)

Sideboard:

Duress: No brainer really.

Engineered Plague: I like it against Goblins because it allows me to pair up against them better. It also make Masticore absolutely broken.

Goblin Pyromancer: Tutor Wrath of God. I'll take one, please.

Pithing Needle: It hits Wasteland. And Vial. And Pernicious Deed. And Umezawa's Jitte.

Mesmeric Fiend: Tutorable Duress. Originally there were more of these but I cut them for Hypnotiq Specters (explained below).

Hypnotiq Specter: Probably the worst slot in the sideboard, but I really feel they are needed for the Solidarity matchup. In testing they were able to fight through 2-3 discard spells, but it was hard for them to fight the recurring discard of Hippy. The BB can be a pain at times, but the potential for turn 2 Hippy with a Bird against Solidarity is just insane. Those games you rarely lose.

Arcane Lab: Added because it is really good against combo decks like Iggy Pop and TES which feature few outs of dealing with it. Also happens to be decent against Solidarity. Generally if it resolves I win, because it buys enough time for me to rape their hands to the point where they can't come back even if it's destroyed.

Cards that didn't make the cut:

Seedborn Muse: This is probably the glaring exclusion of the maindeck. Really, it was just win more. When designing the deck, I did my best to make sure every slot could work on its own (with the obvious exception of Tradewind itself, which requires 2 other creatures), and realized Muse was only good when Tradewind was on the table. And if I was able to tutor for Muse with Tradewind on the table, I could just as easily tutor something like FTK and bash face and win. That's when I realized the focus of this deck really changed, and Muse was just an overcosted, unnecessary slot.

Gilded Drake: Sometimes I miss it, but mainly I just prefer removal. It's bad against the tier 1, and against other decks if there's a problem creature then I return it to their hand.

Spore Frog: Spore Frog is bad. Period. Unless you have a Vial set at 1, and even then it's a weak play. FTK > Spore Frog.

Wall of Roots/Wall of Blossoms: They cost 2, and therefore can't block Lackey on the draw. That's a huge problem.

Basking Rootwalla/ Nimble Mongoose: I think I answered this in another thread, but basically Rootwalla dies to Fanatic/Gempalm against a Lackey, and Mongoose doesn't have the synergy with the deck like Tinder Wall does. Mongoose is fine if you want to run it, but I think you'll miss the speed boost that Wall provides.

Krosan Grip: I've been debating this in the sideboard for some time now, but I don't see the room for it. The combo matchup is too shaky to cut anything, and I want 6 cards for the Goblins matchup, so I'm not sure. Unfortunately the northeast is combo heaven, so that won't die down anytime soon.

Loaming Shaman: I really couldn't care less about the opponent's graveyard. If Threshold gets thresh, it shouldn't bother me because my creatures are more efficient anyway. Werebear still dies to FTK, and Mongoose is a measly 3/3. Enforcer is the only man to worry about and he can't hold the fort by himself, not to mention Twind can return him. And don't give me shit about decks like Reanimator or something. Well, there are Loam variants, but they aren't popular enough to warrant a sideboard slot.

Matchups:

UGW Threshold: Favorable. Threshold is a favorable matchup for Survival in general because of your overwhelming number of threats and their lack of them. I believe most Survival players will agree with me here. It's not by any means a blowout, but at least 60-40 to 65-35 preboard. Their maindeck Needles may be a pain if you're unable to find a Confidant outside of Survival, but you have a lot of threats and they have few answers (StP..FoW..Counterspell. Daze is pretty bad here beyond turn 3.) I board in the discard package to rape their hand, it works out pretty well.

UGr Threshold: This is similiar to UGW, but the matchup is tougher due to Pyroclasm. I'd say it's around 50-50, solely on their ability to hit multiple men with clasm. Playing around that is simple though. Just bait out men until they get hit, and when they do extend out the Werebears and big men who dodge clasm. Really it's not hard at all if you're a competant player. Post-board sees the same configuration at Threshold, and if you pick out Pyroclasm it greatly increases your odds of winning.

Goblins: Game 1 is Unfavorable, probably around 60-40 their favor. Priority number 1 is Goblin Lackey. On the play, I would open a hand that has Tinder Wall, Therapy, or a busted Survival start or mulligan. On the draw same for the above except Therapy, because it won't hit Lackey. If they miss the turn 1 Lackey and you have a Survival, winning the game isn't too hard. You match their men with 2-for-1s like Shredder and FTK, and your men are bigger than theirs. However, Goblins can easily steal the show with busted draws, so always play conservatively. Post-board the matchup is closer to 50-50, maybe 45-55 depending on what they bring in. Sideboarding sees Plagues, Goblin WoG, and Needles. Needle always says Wasteland unless Vial is in play, and do your best to bait their men out into a Pyromancer. Be careful for Pyrokenesis though, it's a bitch.

Solidarity: Unfavorable game 1. You have little to stop them from freely going off. Unless you see like the turn 2 Tradewind, you got little chance of winning. Post-board is favorable however, as you have access to a lot of hate. It's not incredibly in your favor, but it's decent enough to pull out a win a majority of the time. You just string out discard spell after discard spell, and if you resolve Survival and have a couple turns to use it you win. That strings out a Mesmeric Fiend and then Hypnotiq Specters and you go to town.

Iggy Pop: See Solidarity. Game 1 is awful, but post-board they have a single spell to deal with Arcane Laboratory. Plus, they aren't as resilient as Solidarity and have a tougher time dealing with multiple discard spells.

Deadguy/Red Death: About 50-50. These matches are very dependant on the start of each player. If they have the big disruption package followed by a threat it can be tough, but if you resolve Survival it will be tough for them because you get away from their disruption easily and still put threats out there. Post-board you don't get much, just Needle and some discard. Needle on Wasteland is a good bet, or maybe Nantuko Shade if it's there. Duress is good for hitting their Duresses and Hymns and Sinkholes and Dystopia to buy you time, but post-board it's still around 50-50.

I dunno what other matchups to add off the top of my head, maybe I'll add some more eventually, but those are the important ones for the most part. Thing is, I'm admitting that the deck doesn't have a positive game against the tier 1, yet I'm still supporting the deck. Just because matchup ratios aren't in your favor, doesn't necessarily mean the matchup isn't in your favor. With smart play this deck is capable of beating "unfavorable" matchups consistantly, as evidenced by my tournament play (which for multiple reasons isn't posted on here, but just take my word for it).

Enjoy.

hi-val
02-21-2007, 02:22 AM
I like the deck but I think it looks a lot worse than projected against Goblins. It seems that if Ringleader hits the table, you just pack up and lose.

BeeblesofLife
02-21-2007, 03:10 AM
I am personaly a fan of the "left field" decks and this one is no exception.
I think that you have pretty much stream lined it to fit the current meta.
As far as the Solidarity matchup, along with hyppie, has Xantid swarm been tested at all? It would help out in any weird control MUs as well.
Also, has Mox Monkey been tested out as an alternate needle killer?
Against thresh it would act as another T.Hooligan for mage purposes. It also kills EE for one mana.
Anywho, fan of the deck!

greyareabeyond
02-21-2007, 12:33 PM
I'm glad to see the list is up for review. It really is a terrific deck. Nice balance, very versatile.

I would have to say the deck is probably better against Goblins than most players would realize from first glance. Still, I think I would probably change a card or two to metagame vs Goblins just because it's so common here.

From your last list, I'm sure the Mystic Snake and Seedborn Muse were tough cuts, but I think the list benefits from the consistency of 4 Brainstorm and 4 Tinder Wall. The Tinder Walls in particular are awesome.

I do miss having any graveyard hate at all in main or side, but if the discard is beating combo, then it's probably unnecessary.

Di
02-21-2007, 01:41 PM
I like the deck but I think it looks a lot worse than projected against Goblins. It seems that if Ringleader hits the table, you just pack up and lose.

I would have to say the deck is probably better against Goblins than most players would realize from first glance.
From last paragraph in my post:

Just because matchup ratios aren't in your favor, doesn't necessarily mean the matchup isn't in your favor. With smart play this deck is capable of beating "unfavorable" matchups consistantly, as evidenced by my tournament play (which for multiple reasons isn't posted on here, but just take my word for it).


I'm fully aware Goblins isn't a favorable matchup, but you really need to play with the deck to get a feel for the matchup itself, and how it really is. Ringleader can be a problem at times, but Ringleader is also very random. Sometimes they hit the stone-cold nuts, sometimes they wiff. At the GAGG, I had Ringleaders net 4 goblins 3 times, and there wasn't a single time in any of those games that I didn't have control of it. Ringleader is only retarded when a Warchief is on the table because they can drop all those guys next turn, but otherwise you can keep each one in check with your own removal.

Really, the only creatures I fear when playing against Goblins are turn 1 Lackey, Warchief, and Gempalm Incinerator. Maybe SGC depending on the gamestate. Piledriver will get blocked into oblivion unless they have the Incinerator, and in most cases creatures like Warchief will be FTK'd or Shreddered out a turn after they come into play. Beyond the first couple turns, if Warchiefs are kept in check then it becomes a lot easier for you because they can't explode multiple creatures a turn as easily, whereas you have the ability to do so, sometimes multiple FtKs in a single turn or just drop Masticore. This deck really goes head-to-head with them in combat pretty well, and as long as Piledriver is blocked then there shouldn't be severe problems because their creature base consists of 2/2s.


As far as the Solidarity matchup, along with hyppie, has Xantid swarm been tested at all? It would help out in any weird control MUs as well.
Also, has Mox Monkey been tested out as an alternate needle killer?
Against thresh it would act as another T.Hooligan for mage purposes. It also kills EE for one mana.
Anywho, fan of the deck!

Xantid Swarm is a weak option in this deck because I'm not winning the game on the turn I attack with it. All it would do is force some spells through, but I'd rather take discard against them anyday. Control matchups are already ok post-board anyway, as you have 10-12 discard outlets depending on how you board for them, and you just pluck their hand away and drop bomb after bomb.

Gorilla Shaman is a good suggestion as it sticks around and can hit multiple artifacts, but what I'm worried most about is Umezawa's Jitte, which it would cost 5 to kill. Needle isn't as big of a threat to me as Jitte, so I need to stay with Tin Street. Post-board Needles can deal with Jitte though, so maybe it would eventually find a slot.

jazzykat
02-21-2007, 03:04 PM
First I would like to say that I think that this deck is really cool. I have 1 question: How does this deck function w/o survival. Can it win because sometimes a needle or a disenchant, or a preemptive duress will take out survival.

Di
02-21-2007, 04:26 PM
Did you read my post at all? If not, I'll just bring out a few clips of it:


But with basically 3 silver bullets, the deck has greatly cut down on it's number of weaker slots and maximized it's threat density to the point where running without a Survival isn't an issue at all. With that said, lets go to card choices...



Dark Confidant: The other reason I went to the black splash. It's the Survival on legs, and allows the deck to create an advantage without Survival on the table. Originally it was up to 4, but between drawing multiples and hitting 4cc creatures (which it doesn't do nearly as often as you'd think) I decided to cut down to 3. I think it's the right number, and it's been working insanely well.

Also - just look at the decklist. It runs barely any bullet creatures, and of the bullets it does run, the only one that is really "weak" is Tin Street Hooligan. Every other slot is capable of pulling its own. Without Survival this deck functions a lot like RGSA without it, except you still have draw outlets with Brainstorm and Dark Confidant, so you still generate card advantage (not to mention can find Survival). If not, you still have a handful of beaters to just get into the red zone.

troopatroop
02-21-2007, 04:32 PM
I like it because it's more resilient, and still has the ability to go fucking insane with Ranger/Rofellos, which was all it ever needed.

<3

Lego
02-21-2007, 05:24 PM
UGW Threshold: Favorable. Threshold is a favorable matchup for Survival in general because of your overwhelming number of threats and their lack of them. I believe most Survival players will agree with me here.

Fixed.

CynicalSquirrel
02-21-2007, 08:32 PM
Have you thought about Scryb Ranger in place of Quirion Ranger? I've found when I've played Survival decks like this that the one mana is usually worth it to be able to Survival it and play it at instant speed. Plus you'd be surprised how much a little pro blue flier can shut down Faerie Stompy's attack.

Also, Sensei's Divining Top could be an interesting inclusion to go alongside Confidant and the massive amount of shuffling engines the deck has. However, it's probably overkill alongside Brainstorm.

I really do like the list though, I'll have to try it out.

Di
02-21-2007, 08:43 PM
Have you thought about Scryb Ranger in place of Quirion Ranger? I've found when I've played Survival decks like this that the one mana is usually worth it to be able to Survival it and play it at instant speed. Plus you'd be surprised how much a little pro blue flier can shut down Faerie Stompy's attack.

I really do like the list though, I'll have to try it out.

There was a point where I actually had both Quirion Ranger and Scryb Ranger in the deck, and that was a wasted slot, so I then tried just the Scryb Ranger. At first I really liked Scryb Ranger, and as you noted its ability to shut down Faerie Stompy's attackers, but I eventually realized that the extra mana was making a large difference in some scenarios that it wouldn't be an issue with Quirion Ranger. These included times such as opening a one land hand or hand with Birds of Paradise, and the extra mana was costing me from playing him or not adding enough to play another spell. I know that might seem like a trivial point, but it really makes a difference in some games because of that small speed bump. With Survival, there were some issues with it because that extra mana caused me to not play an FTK to kill a creature in a turn that I normally would be able to had it been Quirion Ranger.

Basically in Survival decks you aim to have the cheapest creatures available because the deck is incredibly mana hungry and tries to squeeze as much as possible. However, if Faerie Stompy is around then it's definately worth running it because Faerie Stompy can be a rather difficult matchup for the deck, not to mention Scryb Ranger dodges Chalice for 1 which Q won't.

rsaunder
02-22-2007, 12:20 AM
Ranger was also quite the 1-drop against deadguy/sui style decks, where it might be difficult to get 2 free mana otherwise. It's definitely not a primary concern, but it's certainly an advantage that can't be overlooked. I hear bouncing lands is some good against decks like that.

Slay
02-22-2007, 10:42 AM
I played this deck last year, and the main thing I noticed was how horribly weak it was agaisnt a first turn lackey. You only have 4 maindeck creatures that don't die to fanatic/incinerator 2nd turn that can block lackey, and that gave goblins a ridiculous advantage over my deck.

Might I suggest to you that 3 Mogg Fanatics belong in the Werebear slots?

troopatroop
02-22-2007, 12:41 PM
When approaching your second turn, and you have the option between Confidant and Survival, which would you chose? Considering that both of them are bombs and need to be answered for your non combo opponent to win, Survival moreso that Confidant, Which is the stronger play? From my perspective, it depends largely on the gamestate. If you're on the draw and your opponent has UU untapped, confidant might be better to bait the counter, but in the same regard, if they're holding STP, you just gave them more time to draw and answer Survival next turn, when they may not have had the counter. Granted, if you don't have the 3rd land drop in your hand, Confidant is probably always the stronger play, giving you twice the chance to rip land off the top. That is of course assuming that you didnt play first turn BOP, which with Survival would probably be enough mana to get the Engine running, and dodge Daze in the process. Then again... if you played BOP first turn and it got STP'd, Confidant always seems like a stronger play. Going unanswered aganst Thresh is probably bringing enough threat to seal it.

Against Goblins, Survival always seems stronger. Your only hope against them is to go Nuts on their face, and with 4 Fanatic 4 Gempalm to consider, Survival as alot more likely to get you there.

Against Solidarity... idk. Alot of your pressure with Solidarity stems from Cabal therapy and recursion with Witnesses. Tradewind/Ranger is also a threat to them. Basically, you want the route that will get you to either of those points the fastest. I'd be inclined to go with Survival, because of it's general nastiness with Werebears and hyper acceleration. I'm not sure I would make that play post board, when I had alot more non creature answers to draw into, but pre-board sure.

Am I correct on these assumptions Di?

jazzykat
02-22-2007, 12:52 PM
Did you read my post at all? If not, I'll just bring out a few clips of it:
Also - just look at the decklist. It runs barely any bullet creatures, and of the bullets it does run, the only one that is really "weak" is Tin Street Hooligan. Every other slot is capable of pulling its own. Without Survival this deck functions a lot like RGSA without it, except you still have draw outlets with Brainstorm and Dark Confidant, so you still generate card advantage (not to mention can find Survival). If not, you still have a handful of beaters to just get into the red zone.



I did read it but I had to ask anyway. I see so many Survival decks (as you have alluded to in your first post) and a good many of them claim to play well without Survival.

Fundamentally Survival is probably the most busted card in the format. However, just being able to topdeck and drop a "d00d" (better with anger of course) does not seem like too good of a plan. I think that your deck has done the most to mitigate this situation but you are still left with the reality that your survival will be shutdown after sideboard very quickly by a competent player either via needle, counterspell, or disenchant effect.

That said, I really like the addition of Bob. Someone has already mentioned using top in this deck. About 8 months ago I worked on a Survival TNT deck and used tops to great effect. Obviously, I got to weld the top (when welder lived) but with Bob, Top is just silly. Top does increase the mana use in a mana hungry deck but I like using it to dig later in the game when my hand is spent out. My first few turns with a survival deck are about setting up, and while brainstorm is exceptional at setting up I would rather be casting, mana dudes, cabal therapy, and of course survival.

I think that pushing Bob up to 4 and replacing brainstorm with Top could prove very interesting. That may take us to the direction of RGBSA because all that you need to do is cut the Tradewind riders at that point.

Lastly, someone suggested cutting Werebears for Mogg Fananatics. Another idea would be to use Kirdapes because they have to decide to waste your Taiga and Incinerate next turn if you can't find a forest.

Also, to kick lackey in the sack play Festering Goblin. Perhaps questionable against the rest of the field but quite funny against opposing creatures when sacced to a Cabal Therapy (I realize he may be a liability if there are no other creatures but yours, but we are talking about stopping lackey here).

Lastly, what about Werebear's smaller and untargetable brother in arms Nimble Mongoose. A beater when you have Threshold and a sure fire answer to Lackey.

Bongo
02-22-2007, 04:05 PM
I think that pushing Bob up to 4 and replacing brainstorm with Top could prove very interesting. That may take us to the direction of RGBSA because all that you need to do is cut the Tradewind riders at that point.



This also crossed my mind. I think EATS would greatly benefit by going down to GRB. This allows you to run the 4th Confidant, more Witness, Top and Duress, which nicely assists Therapy and Witness.

Masticore also might be better as the 3rd FTK, as I rarely took down big creatures with it. The only time where Masticore shined was against Angel Stompy (Silver Knight/Priest/MoR), but in all other matchups I rather have the 3rd FTK.

Di
02-22-2007, 04:12 PM
I played this deck last year, and the main thing I noticed was how horribly weak it was agaisnt a first turn lackey. You only have 4 maindeck creatures that don't die to fanatic/incinerator 2nd turn that can block lackey, and that gave goblins a ridiculous advantage over my deck.

Might I suggest to you that 3 Mogg Fanatics belong in the Werebear slots?

This is an issue I've addressed a number of times, and it continues to be one of the bigger ones for the deck. The biggest time it is an issue for the deck is game 1, on the draw. Any other situation it isn't as bad, because on the play you have 8 outlets to stop Lackey (Wall + Cabal Therapy), and post-sideboard it isn't as intimidating when you have Goblin Pyromancer and Engineered Plague in the deck.

Fanatic is a solid answer for it, but for the removal slots it's far too weak to be an inclusion. There's also a lack of space. Cutting Werebear would create two problems for this deck:

- Fewer accelerants (believe it or not they do add mana)

- Fewer beatsticks. Ripping a Werebear midgame without Survival is a solid draw because it will most likely be a 4/4 beater which is not a bad draw. Compare this to midgame when you're running without a Survival and draw a measly Mogg Fanatic. That sure as hell won't go the distance against control.


When approaching your second turn, and you have the option between Confidant and Survival, which would you chose? Considering that both of them are bombs and need to be answered for your non combo opponent to win, Survival moreso that Confidant, Which is the stronger play? [b]From my perspective, it depends largely on the gamestate.[b/]

See the bold, you answered your own question. I really can't comment on it because there are too many variables you have to factor in, such as the opponent's deck, game state, the rest of your hand, etc. Either play is solid, but more often than not regardless of the deck I'm going to probably try to force through Survival.



Against Goblins, Survival always seems stronger. Your only hope against them is to go Nuts on their face, and with 4 Fanatic 4 Gempalm to consider, Survival as alot more likely to get you there.

Survival is always the stronger play on turn 2 against Goblins, unless you desperately need something to block Goblin Lackey. Untapping your lands with a Survival in play means you will be playing removal spells for the next few turns, and have a much better chance of sealing the game.


Against Solidarity... idk. Alot of your pressure with Solidarity stems from Cabal therapy and recursion with Witnesses. Tradewind/Ranger is also a threat to them. Basically, you want the route that will get you to either of those points the fastest. I'd be inclined to go with Survival, because of it's general nastiness with Werebears and hyper acceleration. I'm not sure I would make that play post board, when I had alot more non creature answers to draw into, but pre-board sure.

Against Solidarity, I would probably play Survival first. If it resolves great if not it's ok. Confidant is important in that matchup because it can find Cabal Therapy. Game 1 is really hard for the deck though because of the lack of disruption, so it's important to hit a Tradewind into play asap so you can do something to stop them. If you're able to secure a Twind into play before they reach 4-5 lands then you can most likely win, but otherwise you got little chance.


I think that your deck has done the most to mitigate this situation but you are still left with the reality that your survival will be shutdown after sideboard very quickly by a competent player either via needle, counterspell, or disenchant effect.

The only real problem out of those examples is Counterspell, because Survival never saw play. Against Needle, you still have the few outs in the deck to stop it in Tin Street Hooligan and Tradewind Rider, and against Disenchant you tutor up Eternal Witness in response, assuming you weren't stupid enough to tap out playing it against a deck with access to Disenchant.


I think that pushing Bob up to 4 and replacing brainstorm with Top could prove very interesting. That may take us to the direction of RGBSA because all that you need to do is cut the Tradewind riders at that point.

In my card choices section I discussed a little why I don't run 4 Bob, and I probably won't go back up to 4. Seeing them in multiples is just bad. And you're insane to cut Brainstorm for a card that is slower and can be Needled. Brainstorm is one of the best cards in the deck because it can turn a bad hand into a good one, and can be an amazing topdeck. If I were to run anything over something like that it would be Sylvan Library, but I prefer Bob to that because Bob you can at least attack with and pitch to Survival.


Lastly, someone suggested cutting Werebears for Mogg Fananatics. Another idea would be to use Kirdapes because they have to decide to waste your Taiga and Incinerate next turn if you can't find a forest.

Both Kird Ape and Mogg Fanatic would force a bigger role for red into this deck. That's something that would only strain an already fragile manabase even more. The only color for Lackey answers should be green because every land will cast it.


Lastly, what about Werebear's smaller and untargetable brother in arms Nimble Mongoose. A beater when you have Threshold and a sure fire answer to Lackey.

A lot of people have discussed with me about adding Nimble Mongoose into the deck for Goblin Lackey. It's debatable, but the only slots I'd really feel it could go in for are those who are already there for Goblin Lackey (Tinder Wall). It's possible they could go in for Werebear, but as I mentioned earlier that hurts the deck in a number of ways (a 3/3 pales in comparison to a 4/4) but if it ends up being that big of an issue then it'll have to be done.

Bongo
02-22-2007, 06:52 PM
In my card choices section I discussed a little why I don't run 4 Bob, and I probably won't go back up to 4. Seeing them in multiples is just bad. And you're insane to cut Brainstorm for a card that is slower and can be Needled.


I'm pretty sure the first Needle goes on Survival. By the time the second Needle hits play, the Top has already done its job.
I don't think you should dismiss Top as lightly. While the initial cost is higher than a Brainstorm, the Top allows you to continually manipulate your library, which is really really good, especially with Confidant.

I also don't get how you think multiple Confidants is a bad thing unless you're on a really low life total. Even then, Top can reduce the damage and quite frankly, the game should be over in short time if you're drawing 3 cards per turn.


4 Survival of the Fittest
4 Cabal Therapy
2 Duress
2 Sensei's Divining Top

3 Eternal Witness
1 Squee, Goblin Nabob
1 Anger
1 Genesis

4 Dark Confidant
3 Flametongue Kavu
1 Bone Shredder
1 Tin Street Hooligan
1 Ravenous Baloth

4 Tinder Wall
4 Birds of Paradise
3 Werebear
1 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary

4 Windswept Heath
4 Wooded Foothills
4 Bayou
3 Taiga
5 Forest

Survival + Top is really good at searching out the Therapy/Duress/Witness engine.
Not to mention that going down to 3 colors improves your manabase significantly.

Did you test a GRB version? If so, what made you choose GRBU over GRB?

jazzykat
02-22-2007, 07:21 PM
Also, Hi-Val wrote up an article using Sylvan Library (an idea also mentioned in this thread). It's similar to topping every turn.

Also, my second target after survival when playing against you is Rofellos, and third is confidant (I never like to see him on the board unless my opponent is at an insanely low life). You say 3 is enough but he would have my creature removal 3-X on his forehead.

Pinder
02-22-2007, 09:28 PM
Also, Hi-Val wrote up an article using Sylvan Library (an idea also mentioned in this thread). It's similar to topping every turn.


I actually really liked this option because, as hi-val mentioned, it lets you keep more than one card if you need to. And since you have Baloth you can help offest the lifeloss (not the best use, but it's there). Combined with Confidant, you can stack the triggers appropriately to avoid lifeloss from Bob and, if need be, keep one of them to draw 3 cards in one turn. Now that's sexy. The only downside I can really see is that it costs more than Barinstorm and Top.

Di
02-23-2007, 12:20 AM
This also crossed my mind. I think EATS would greatly benefit by going down to GRB. This allows you to run the 4th Confidant, more Witness, Top and Duress, which nicely assists Therapy and Witness.

Masticore also might be better as the 3rd FTK, as I rarely took down big creatures with it. The only time where Masticore shined was against Angel Stompy (Silver Knight/Priest/MoR), but in all other matchups I rather have the 3rd FTK.

EATS going down to GRB is a completely different deck. Not that I have an problems with RGBSA, but the lack of Tradewind Rider is disturbing to me. He single-handedly won me an entire round at the GAGG, and there is no such card in RGB that can provide constant removal like Tradewind Rider. It's way too good to cut.

I still believe Top is inferior to Brainstorm. In every game I play, if I open Brainstorm, I will cast it on my first turn unless a Bird is in my hand. That Brainstorm will open up more turn 2 plays because it will potentially find a Survival or Dark Confidant. That is what you have to go for. The most important turns for this deck are 1-3, because they will either find the SotF or Bob or not. With Top, I wouldn't be able to cast either of those until turn 3. That is too slow. It also doesn't put the cards in my hand, which is a real issue. Topdecking a Brainstorm is incredibly good because it immediately gives me the chance to find outs, while Top would cost an extra mana, and not draw the card unless I throw on top of the deck. Point is, the deck needs the cards in hand as fast as it can because it needs to generate as much advantage as possible. Not putting the cards in hand really hurts the deck.


I also don't get how you think multiple Confidants is a bad thing unless you're on a really low life total. Even then, Top can reduce the damage and quite frankly, the game should be over in short time if you're drawing 3 cards per turn.


You also need to count the number of high casting cost cards in the deck. I'm at risk running Bob because of this, but it's too strong a card to ignore, and has incredible synergy with the deck already. Yea, Top would help in that sense, but this deck does not revolve around Bob, it revolves around Survival. I need cards to find Survival as fast as they can, and Top is too slow for this. Plus, it's useless once Survival is in play, because I will never have the mana to activate it when I'm using that to get creatures and will have access to whatever I need from thereon out.


If so, what made you choose GRBU over GRB?

Is this a serious question? I suppose a serious answer would be because I play ATS and not RGBSA. My name is Diablos, not Dave Price.

But also, because of the ridiculous power of Brainstorm and Tradewind Rider. If those cards were green, then I assure you my deck would be RGB :)


Also, my second target after survival when playing against you is Rofellos, and third is confidant (I never like to see him on the board unless my opponent is at an insanely low life). You say 3 is enough but he would have my creature removal 3-X on his forehead.

If you have your 3 creature removal aimed at Dark Confidant, that is fine. It is removal not aimed at the Werebears, FTKs, Masticore, and Baloth that will be aiming at your head. Generally decks that run targeted creature removal outside Goblins only run 4, and that is StP. That would potentially give them all of them to target Confidants and Rofellos. While there's nothing wrong with that, what outs do they have to stop the rest of this deck? Keep in mind, the entire deck is composed of creatures. (Oh yeah, don't forget I run Eternal Witness and Genesis)

@ Sylvan Library comments:

If anyone's read my older ATS work (or the primer for that matter) you'd know I used to be a huge advocate of Sylvan Library. And technically I still am, but Dark Confidant is simply better. I'll accept the lifeloss in exchange for the ability to attack, pitch to Survival, pitch to Therapy, and block over Library any day. And no, I'm not going to run Library in addition to it for the same reason I don't run Top, and that is because they won't find a Survival on turn 2.

AngryTroll
02-23-2007, 04:04 AM
Well, I've been looking over your list since you put it up. As a longtime Survival Player, I have a couple of questions. Not an attack on it, certainly; I'm going to put it together and start playing with it, but these are just some questions about your list so far.

I've played RGSA for ages, and then RGbSA when that became the stronger choice, and a couple of things stand out the most. First, the manabase seems a lot weaker in this version, between playing 2 fewer land and a forth color. That certainly seems like it won't help the Goblins Matchup. Second, only one Baloth? I guess your list has Tinder Walls to block Goblins early, maybe circumventing the need for life gain, but Baloth is an excellent topdeck if you can't find Survival.

Flametongue Kavus. Only two? I realize you are playing 2+1+1 for four total, counting Bone Shredder and the Masticore, but in RGbSA we run 4 FtK and a Boneshredder, and sometimes Duplicant or Masticore to take out nasty things. I can certainly see the Tradewind Riders making up for this, by serving as removal for things like Akroma and Exalted Angel, while also being useful against things like Solidarity, Iggy, Life, and Salvagers Game. Are they part of the reason you don't use the full four Kavus?

My final question is this: What benefits, specifically, does this deck have over the three color RGBSA list? That one struggles with the same matchups this one does, and is strong in the same places. It also has a stronger manabase, running 2 Swamps, 2 Mountains, a plethora of Forests, and the fetches/duals. Does this deck function that much better without Survival because of the Bobs? Are Tradewind Rider and Bob better then 4 Duress mainboard and Burning Wish? I do not mean these questions to put down this list; I am simply curious to see what your thought process was comparing the two.

Edit: My real last question: And where on earth did the E in E ATS come from? Epic? Eww, not another Angry Tradewind Survival list? Everybodyloves ATS? Eat Artichokes Today Soon?

Nightmare
02-23-2007, 09:18 AM
Edit: My real last question: And where on earth did the E in E ATS come from? Epic? Eww, not another Angry Tradewind Survival list? Everybodyloves ATS? Eat Artichokes Today Soon?
I'm terrible at Survival decks, so this is the only question I can answer. Your first guess was correct, the E is for EPIC.

Obfuscate Freely
02-23-2007, 12:02 PM
In every game I play, if I open Brainstorm, I will cast it on my first turn unless a Bird is in my hand. That Brainstorm will open up more turn 2 plays because it will potentially find a Survival or Dark Confidant. That is what you have to go for. The most important turns for this deck are 1-3, because they will either find the SotF or Bob or not.
Reading this got me wondering if you've tried Portent in place of Brainstorm. It digs deeper for Survival/Confidant on turn 1 (look at 3 cards, shuffle, draw another random card on upkeep), and actually gets you through chaff so you don't draw it again next turn.

Brainstorm is obviously better if you have trash in hand to shuffle away, or if your opponent has a discard spell on the stack, but Portent is much stronger when you are actually digging for something specific. It's basically a sorcery-speed Impulse for U that can set up more than one draw.

I could see you targeting your opponent with it once in a while, too. Tradewind + Witness + Portent lock? Heh, maybe not.

Nightmare
02-23-2007, 12:21 PM
Reading this got me wondering if you've tried Portent in place of Brainstorm. It digs deeper for Survival/Confidant on turn 1 (look at 3 cards, shuffle, draw another random card on upkeep), and actually gets you through chaff so you don't draw it again next turn.

Brainstorm is obviously better if you have trash in hand to shuffle away, or if your opponent has a discard spell on the stack, but Portent is much stronger when you are actually digging for something specific. It's basically a sorcery-speed Impulse for U that can set up more than one draw.

I could see you targeting your opponent with it once in a while, too. Tradewind + Witness + Portent lock? Heh, maybe not.On the other hand, Portent does nothing to fix what's already in your hand (ie: Shuffle away the crap). Brainstorm is, in 99% of situations, going to be the better spell. Even if I were to want a different cantrip, I'd probably choose Serum Visions, since it digs deeper (actual depth, not virtual like Portent) than either of the two.

Di
02-23-2007, 03:54 PM
Well, I've been looking over your list since you put it up. As a longtime Survival Player, I have a couple of questions. Not an attack on it, certainly; I'm going to put it together and start playing with it, but these are just some questions about your list so far.

Just to note, and attack would be fine as well. :) I'm expecting harsh criticisms, but I also feel I can pretty much defend anything thrown at me. Of course though I'll accept defeat on the rare occasion.


First, the manabase seems a lot weaker in this version, between playing 2 fewer land and a forth color. That certainly seems like it won't help the Goblins Matchup. Second, only one Baloth? I guess your list has Tinder Walls to block Goblins early, maybe circumventing the need for life gain, but Baloth is an excellent topdeck if you can't find Survival.

The manabase is weaker, yes. I am fully aware of that. I am fully aware of the potential hazards that brings against Goblins. However, there are almost as many mana accelerants in the deck as there are lands. I'm unsure why everybody is going nuts about the manabase when in reality there are 33 mana sources in the deck. That's more than half the deck. The odds I'm going to be seriously hindered with mana development is rather slim, plus Brainstorm helps it.

There's only a singleton Baloth because that's all the room I could afford. Removal spells are more important than lifegain, because potentially I only need a single one to win. Also, in most circumstances, topdecking an FTK or something of the like is better than topdecking a vanilla 4/4. At the GAGG, the single Baloth won the entire first round matchup (Burn) and game 1 of round 2 (Goblins). You really need only one to stabilize, because you can just recur it turn after turn from then on. Another one would be nice, because it provides another out as well as efficient beater, but there's just a lack of space.


Flametongue Kavus. Only two? I realize you are playing 2+1+1 for four total, counting Bone Shredder and the Masticore, but in RGbSA we run 4 FtK and a Boneshredder, and sometimes Duplicant or Masticore to take out nasty things. I can certainly see the Tradewind Riders making up for this, by serving as removal for things like Akroma and Exalted Angel, while also being useful against things like Solidarity, Iggy, Life, and Salvagers Game. Are they part of the reason you don't use the full four Kavus?

I count Tradewind Riders in the removal aspect of the deck, so technically yes I would say you can count those are Kavu 3 and 4, and a total of 6 removal slots in the deck. Masticore is essentially an FTK in a deck that pumps mana like this. Also, it has the option to kill bigger creatures that FTK can't. It's not often an issue because those creatures can be dealt with by Tradewind, but the option is there. Masticore also mows down the entire Goblin army. FTK is only a 2-for-1.

As far as RGBSA goes, I've yet to see a list online that runs any removal outside of FTK. I'm going from the RGBSA thread and tournament results, and unless Dave Price has changed his list I can't believe otherwise. But even so, that still counts for less than (or if you run the full 4 FTK, 1 Shredder, then 1 Masticore) we'd be even on removal.


My final question is this: What benefits, specifically, does this deck have over the three color RGBSA list? That one struggles with the same matchups this one does, and is strong in the same places. It also has a stronger manabase, running 2 Swamps, 2 Mountains, a plethora of Forests, and the fetches/duals. Does this deck function that much better without Survival because of the Bobs? Are Tradewind Rider and Bob better then 4 Duress mainboard and Burning Wish? I do not mean these questions to put down this list; I am simply curious to see what your thought process was comparing the two.


You hit it on the head with Bob pretty much. Bob is a big reason why this deck can compete, because it has the option to still gain an advantage over an opponent without Survival on the table. It also has Brainstorm to fix draws. Without Survival, all RGBSA is is a deck full of 4cc creatures to attack with. Although that's not a bad gameplan, this deck features more options without Survival. Also, RGBSA seems to have a tougher time with Goblins because they have fewer men to halt the early attack. Granted, if you get to untap with Survival with 4 mana you're in a good position, but that deck has issues with Goblin Lackey moreso than this does. Their only early-game out is Burning Wish -> Pyroclasm.

I really dislike Duress maindeck. If I wanted to play it main I would, but it's a dead draw against Goblins. Game 1 against combo even with Duress it's too much of an uphill battle, but post-board you get so much disruption you can create a positive game. However game 1 against Goblins is highly winnable, and I wouldn't want to jeopardize that by drawing something dead like Duress.

I also personally think Burning Wish is a tad bit overrated in that deck. It just tutors for a card that can be decent in a situation, but doesn't create any advantage in the league of Bob. If you're running without a Survival, which card is going to generate you more of an advantage? Burning Wish, which will find a single card that will only buy you a little time (such as Boiling Seas, Pyroclasm, etc whatever) or something that will allow you to rip the cards you need while providing a threat?

Honestly, I'm not sure why those decks haven't been running with Bob. There's a number of high casting cost men, but the advantage Bob creates well outweights the potential risks.

@ Portent: Mr. Nightmare summed up my thoughts. I really don't know what Va's infatuation is with that card, because I just think it's trash. I mean, you were comparing Portent to Brainstorm. Don't look at that example of finding a turn 1 Survival as an excuse, but Brainstorm is in almost any case the better card.

Obfuscate Freely
02-23-2007, 10:42 PM
On the other hand, Portent does nothing to fix what's already in your hand (ie: Shuffle away the crap). Brainstorm is, in 99% of situations, going to be the better spell. Even if I were to want a different cantrip, I'd probably choose Serum Visions, since it digs deeper (actual depth, not virtual like Portent) than either of the two.
Are you saying that you have bad cards in hand 99% of the time? That makes the deck sound unspectacular.

Would you care to work out why Serum Visions digs deeper (in "actual depth," at least) than Portent? I think that would be entertaining.


@ Portent: Mr. Nightmare summed up my thoughts. I really don't know what Va's infatuation is with that card, because I just think it's trash. I mean, you were comparing Portent to Brainstorm. Don't look at that example of finding a turn 1 Survival as an excuse, but Brainstorm is in almost any case the better card.
Would it be asking too much for you to explain why you think Portent is "trash," and why it is so obviously worse than Brainstorm?

I mean, I understand the power of Brainstorm, but the card is a lot less impressive when you consistently have to play it on turn one. Portent is leagues better in that case.

Di
02-23-2007, 11:13 PM
Would it be asking too much for you to explain why you think Portent is "trash," and why it is so obviously worse than Brainstorm?

It doesn't put cards in the hand immediately. That is my biggest gripe. If I'm going into the midgame in topdeck mode, I'd be much happier plucking a Brainstorm than a Portent. It also won't hide cards in hand, and replace the bad cards in my hand with better ones to be shuffled away.


I mean, I understand the power of Brainstorm, but the card is a lot less impressive when you consistently have to play it on turn one. Portent is leagues better in that case.

You don't have to play it on turn 1, but if the option is there I will often take it because it will open up the turn 2 play. It's good in basically any scenario. If I play a Survival without a creature in hand but have Brainstorm, it will find a creature that turn to be used. Or if Goblin Matron just put a Ringleader in their hand, I can Brainstorm to at least find a Cabal Therapy (actually, that example happened twice at the GAGG).

MattH
02-24-2007, 04:08 AM
The problem with Brainstorm is that it makes you want U on turn one, 1G or 1B on turn two, and GG after that. It looks hell on the mana.

It's still probably worth it, though.

Tacosnape
02-24-2007, 05:12 AM
The problem with Brainstorm is that it makes you want U on turn one, 1G or 1B on turn two, and GG after that. It looks hell on the mana.

It's still probably worth it, though.

What you forget is that Brainstorm itself improves your manabase. So in addition to picking up those Survivals that started out 9th from the top, it'll help you smooth out your mana as well.

SpatulaOfTheAges
02-24-2007, 11:58 AM
Seriously, though, ninjas. Try them. They have strong synergy with CIP creatures, and guys like Mistblade Shinobi, Deep Hours, and Skullsnatcher all have highly useful abilities at a fair price.

In the SB, at least, Okiba-Gang is pretty much Hyppie without double black.

Di
02-24-2007, 04:15 PM
Seriously, though, ninjas. Try them. They have strong synergy with CIP creatures, and guys like Mistblade Shinobi, Deep Hours, and Skullsnatcher all have highly useful abilities at a fair price.

In the SB, at least, Okiba-Gang is pretty much Hyppie without double black.

Their abilities require an unblocked attacker, which limits their usefulness if I'm on defense. Otherwise they are just overcosted cards that aren't as strong as the others in the deck already.

Okiba-Gang I actually tried before I went to Hypnotic Specter, but it's 5cc was a problem. Plus, it's 4 mana Ninjitsu didn't help much because it was so slow. The option of getting Hippy down turn 2 is insanely good against decks like Thresh or Solidarity, so that's why it's there.


The problem with Brainstorm is that it makes you want U on turn one, 1G or 1B on turn two, and GG after that. It looks hell on the mana.

It's still probably worth it, though.


What you forget is that Brainstorm itself improves your manabase. So in addition to picking up those Survivals that started out 9th from the top, it'll help you smooth out your mana as well.

What he said. Opening a Brainstorm will alow you to use that Trop turn one, and if you don't have a fetch/Bayou/whatever in hand, it'll at least help find it if you need to.

Also Matt, all of these lands add green in the deck, so I don't know why you were making a point to find 1G or GG. Finding U and B early can be difficult at times, but you have Birds of Paradise to smooth that out, Brainstorm to find them, and fetchlands. (I may have forgotten to add that I draw more fetchlands that anyone ever. I draw at least 4-5 every game I play for some ungodly reason.)

AngryTroll
02-25-2007, 05:28 AM
I played tonight for a few hours using this list, Minus one Rofellos, Plus one Baloth. Shame on me, but I didn't have a second Rofellos.

Here are my thoughts on the matter. Against Goblins, things are not good, but not terrible. Therapy for Lackey, and Tinder Wall is surprisingly good. All in all, its not great, but I won a couple Pre board (lost a lot more then I won), but I imagine things get better post board with Plagues and Goblin Wrath.

Slivers is NOT GOOD. The entire match comes down to Crystalline Sliver. If one sticks, the options are Tradewind land to keep Slivers off enough land...oh. They already have enough land for Sinew and Muscle, and we can't FTK or Boneshredder or Masticore the Slivers. Bad. So we have Therapy vs Crystalline Sliver, but they have Brainstorm, Force of Will, and Daze (half the time) to stop that one card from resolving. Not good.

I played against Angel Stompy, and the Masticore was great, as was the Dark Confidants. This was a matchup where ATS really shone over RGbSA, as the Masticore and Tradewind Riders answered things that had Pro Red, Swords of Fire and Ice, and other troublesome permanents RGbSA usually can't handle.

In both of the first two matchups, having access to Burning Wish makes a huge difference. BWish is also great against Angel Stompy, but ATS felt stronger against the deck with only a few games. I am not convinced adding Blue for Brainstorm and Tradewind Rider is worth the loss of Burning Wish, and the mana base weakening that happens by adding a fourth color.

However, I will be adding Confidants and Masticore to RGbSA after playing with them in a Survival list tonight. I really like some of the things EATS does, but I feel that RGbSA is stronger overall so far. On the other hand, this was one night of preboard testing. These are just initial impressions, but I don't see testing results by anyone else so far, so I thought I would throw them out there.

Di
02-25-2007, 02:24 PM
All your testing from what I see is pretty accurate with my own. As I said, Goblins isn't a good pre-board matchup, but it's not awful. They can do some broken things, but if you're able to do them as well you can pull it out. That matchup kind of relies on the sideboard a bit for Plagues, Needles, and Pyromancer, so I'm not overly concerned if you lose game 1, but when it happens it's a nice cushion for the round.

I've never tested against Slivers, but the other day after glacing over the thread, I projected that it would be an awful matchup. Well, not awful, but you have a very difficult time winning after Crystalline Sliver is in play, because it negates most of your deck. Basically the way I see it, you shift into pure RGBSA mode and send out man after man and just attack away. If they have 3 Sinew/Muscle Slivers in play with Crystalline you're fucked because their men will be larger than yours, but if you're able to go head-to-head with their men or if they don't have multiple pump slivers you can easily aggro them out with Werebears and other beatsticks.


I played against Angel Stompy, and the Masticore was great, as was the Dark Confidants. This was a matchup where ATS really shone over RGbSA, as the Masticore and Tradewind Riders answered things that had Pro Red, Swords of Fire and Ice, and other troublesome permanents RGbSA usually can't handle.



I am not convinced adding Blue for Brainstorm and Tradewind Rider is worth the loss of Burning Wish, and the mana base weakening that happens by adding a fourth color.


After hearing that first statement, it seems strange to hear the latter. It sounds like the Tradewind helped a tremendous deal where RGBSA couldn't contend with it. Idk, they both have advantages and disadvantages. I sacrifice the manabase for flexibility (and Brainstorm finds Survival whereas Burning Wish won't.), and you have a stronger manabase but a more strait-forward approach. It's up in the air really, but I personally (obviously) prefer the flexibility.

MattH
02-25-2007, 02:33 PM
My metagame went Orim's Chant-crazy since I was last there in November, so I need to stop playing combo. This and hi-val's article have brought my attention back to my first love, Survival decks.

After playing around with this, here's what I've noticed.

1. Do you really need two Tradewinds? One is good for utility purposes but why the second?

2. I kind of like a second Baloth, since Confidant eats a lot of life. This may be due to my running 4 Confidants or it may not.

3. Masticore is pretty blehhh. He takes a shit-ton (technical term) of mana. I don't like him much at all.

3. Threshold has been hard to achieve without an active Survival.

4. Tinder Wall is hot sauce.

5. I really want to board some kind of grave-hating man. Wretch or Loaming Shaman.

6. I really want a Goblin Sharpshooter somewhere in the 75.

That is all for now.

Alfred
02-25-2007, 03:41 PM
Why not a single Juzam Sliver or Dormant Sliver in the SB for the Sliver matchup? Dormant Sliver seems particularly devistating when they have played out a Crystalline Sliver, because they have no way of removing it, or any way of winning at all. Clear the way with Cabal Therapies, and it could be an excellent silver bullet.

Whit3 Ghost
02-25-2007, 03:53 PM
If your metagame is that infested with Slivers, then it may a very good idea. However, the fact that they don't do much in other matchups would count them out for a major tournament.

Di
02-25-2007, 04:04 PM
1. Do you really need two Tradewinds? One is good for utility purposes but why the second?


One is probably enough, but I really like the second for safety reasons. If for some reason this deck needs to go into control mode and play very definsively, having multiple Tradewinds go a long way to helping me out. Also, they are very effective against Solidarity if I can hit them down early, and if I'm able to resolve Tradewind (or both) against them game 1 it helps a great deal. Post-board not as much though, because you have a lot more help from the sideboard. It's also one of the few maindeck outs this deck has of dealing with stuff like Pithing Needle. It's always nice to draw it if I'm staring at a Needle or something. However in the event I were to cut one, it'd be for an FTK, but I really don't see it happening.


2. I kind of like a second Baloth, since Confidant eats a lot of life. This may be due to my running 4 Confidants or it may not.

If you got the space for another Baloth that's great. But 4 Confidant can really end up being suicidal. When I originally ran 4 I had a number of problems with life from them. Then again, I was running more high-cc critters, but still I think 3 is the perfect number.


3. Masticore is pretty blehhh. He takes a shit-ton (technical term) of mana. I don't like him much at all.

6. I really want a Goblin Sharpshooter somewhere in the 75.


You're really the only person I've seen who doesn't like him. He takes a shit-ton of mana, but there should rarely be a time when you don't have access to that. Plus, he gets around pro-red men and is an able 4/4 beater.

I really don't like Sharpshooter very much. It's awful against Threshold and will either die against Goblins before I can use it or won't kill their x/2 men. It is also a terrible topdeck being a measly 1/1 for 3. Masticore in this deck is much better because it is a threat on its own and with more than half the deck adding mana it's ability just goes retarded.


3. Threshold has been hard to achieve without an active Survival.


This is true. Well, sort of. Werebear is rather weak until the midgame without Survival, but I think overall it's worth it. At times it can be very difficult to hit Threshold, but it also depends on the deck you're playing against. You should be able to get 3-5 cards in the graveyard on your own no problem, and in most cases the opponent will help put those final few there for you.


4. Tinder Wall is hot sauce.

Oh yes, that it is.


5. I really want to board some kind of grave-hating man. Wretch or Loaming Shaman.

Unless decks like reanimator or LftL are very popular in your metagame, I don't really see why. Threshold is already a favorable matchup, and their creatures even after gaining thresh aren't very intimidating. Survival maybe, but as a Survival player I really don't fear graveyard removal, because for the most part it's rather ineffective unless under some bizarre circumstances.


Why not a single Juzam Sliver or Dormant Sliver in the SB for the Sliver matchup? Dormant Sliver seems particularly devistating when they have played out a Crystalline Sliver, because they have no way of removing it, or any way of winning at all. Clear the way with Cabal Therapies, and it could be an excellent silver bullet.

If Slivers was a metagame concern, maybe. However, considering I've never even seen the deck played, and most likely won't because I live in the northeast where good decks reign supreme, I doubt I'll be wasting my time with it. However, if by some freak occurance Slivers decides to overrun the metagame over here, then something might make a possible sideboard slot. But right now I need to focus on decks that actually see play, like Goblins.

Volt
02-25-2007, 04:13 PM
If Slivers was a metagame concern, maybe. However, considering I've never even seen the deck played, and most likely won't because I live in the northeast where good decks reign supreme,

Ouch.

MattH
02-25-2007, 05:04 PM
You're really the only person I've seen who doesn't like him. He takes a shit-ton of mana, but there should rarely be a time when you don't have access to that. Plus, he gets around pro-red men and is an able 4/4 beater.
I admit, I have not tried him in this particular deck. But I have always hated him in every other build of Survival I have run.


I really don't like Sharpshooter very much. It's awful against Threshold and will either die against Goblins before I can use it
This is true, but neither of those decks for some reason are heavily played here. I dunno, I just have a feeling that were I to run without it, I would end up smacking myself in the head.

It's pretty good against Affinity.


This is true. Well, sort of. Werebear is rather weak until the midgame without Survival, but I think overall it's worth it. At times it can be very difficult to hit Threshold, but it also depends on the deck you're playing against. You should be able to get 3-5 cards in the graveyard on your own no problem, and in most cases the opponent will help put those final few there for you.
I can see this. On my own it takes forever to get threshold.


Unless decks like reanimator or LftL are very popular in your metagame, I don't really see why.
Actually we do see a lot of Loam here. Enough that I may maindeck a Wretch if I run this. If you had to maindeck one, which would it be?

Di
02-25-2007, 05:38 PM
I admit, I have not tried him in this particular deck. But I have always hated him in every other build of Survival I have run.

I think it may be that I'm the only Survival player running both Quirion Ranger and Rofellos. Those two combined with Masticore are like the ultimate anti-aggro combo. Without Ranger Masticore is a lot weaker, but still really good.


Actually we do see a lot of Loam here. Enough that I may maindeck a Wretch if I run this. If you had to maindeck one, which would it be?

Probably Withered Wretch, simply because it removes the card. With Loaming Shaman, they have the possibility of just getting the stuff back, especially if it's a Loam variant. Simply throwing the Loam and Barbarian Rings and whatever back in their deck is just going to stall them a bit until they get going again, whereas Withered Wretch just ends it. The BB really shouldn't be an issue with the amount of black mana sources available, not to mention Loam decks are so slow you have a bit of time to find them if it comes to it.

troopatroop
02-26-2007, 12:19 AM
Sorry for such a brief post but I just played the deck to a 10th place finish at the Tropical Island tournament, going 3-1-1, missing top 8 on breakers. I'll give a brief tournament report later, Matchups and how they went. The field. All that jazz. Overall, the deck was awesome. I beat turn 2 empty the warrens for 10 goblin tokens without Spore Frog or Sharpshooter. It was savage.

troopatroop
02-27-2007, 09:35 PM
So double post, whatever. Who cares.

I've been thinking alot about the deck and any changes that it could take or directions it could go. Basically... I never felt confidant going into a matchup. The deck always seemed to give me a whole boatload of accelerants with nothing to dump the mana into when Survival didn't stick. I never felt dominant. I didn't feel like I was locking anyone out of the game, and without Survival I didn't feel like I could do anything but generate boatloads of mana and do Tradewind tricks.

I wanted more discard and more fat. I wanted more bombs and less Tinder wall (which was bad for me all day). Werebear seemed out of place and Bone shredder was pretty bad too. Overall, I had a good tournament, yet I really wanted some changes.

Tradewind rider has lost his flare for me. Without Seedborn and the deck built around him he's often not survivaled for because winning with combat damage is a better option most of the time. I spent more mana trying to get TWR/QR/3randomcritters than I can remember, and getting FTKs and blowing their shit to hell would have been stronger and left a stronger board position considering their life total actually being in danger. Confidant has to be 4-of. He's just so fucking good.

Which brings me to what I would like. STP / Glowrider / Hierarch are very strong, but I wouldn't want to go to the 4th color without Brainstorm, because honestly it wouldn't feel consistant enough. Enlightened tutor is a no-no when you're trying to not be dependant on Survival. So... white for the time being for me is out.

G/R/b seems to provide 3 total bombs. Survival/Confidant/Burning Wish. With Flametounge Kavus, Eternal Witness, and Jitte coming into the picture... You have an absolutely huge number of threats. Duress or Therapy to clear the Counters and fight Combo, Midrange beaters to seal the game, and amazing SB options like Plague and Pillar... you have a strong deck.

////S2K7/////

4 Survival of the Fittest
4 Burning Wish
3 Duress

4 Dark Confidant
3 Llanowar Elves
3 Birds of Paradise
1 Quirrion Ranger
1 Rofellos

3 Eternal Witness
3 Tin-street Hooligan
4 Flametounge Kavu
3 Ravenous Baloth
2 Umezawa's Jitte

1 Anger
1 Squee
1 Genesis

4 Taiga
4 Bayou
4 Wooded Foothills
2 Windswept Heath
4 Forest
1 Mountain

SB:
4 Engineered Plague
4 Pyrostatic Pillar
1 Tsunami
1 Pyroclasm
1 Shatterstorm
1 Anarchy
1 Cranial Extraction
1 Goblin Pyromancer
1 Loaming Shaman


Overall, it's largely untested, but it stands alot of tried and true principles of RGSA, with alot of added power in the form of Confidant. Llanowar elves are in there to be coupled with Jitte, rather than more BOP, but running 3 colors can be troublesome so they're neccessary. I've been liking the 3-3 split. Anger/Genesis/Squee are all staples, can't leave home without em. 2 Umezawa's Jitte have been freaking crazy. They may not always curve with the deck all that well, or couple with Survival, but the raw brokenness of the card just shines through all that jazz. It's often removal for an opposing Jitte, which could certainly ruin your day, or it completely top decks you into a win. The card's good here, but SoFI has gone through my mind as well. I'm not sure which is better, but for now I'm leaning toward Jitte. 3 Maindeck Tin-street may look stupid, but Pithing Needle is really common, Jitte and Vial are really common. Stupid stuff like Vedalken Shackles will just piss in your cereal, and you need to be able to draw removal without Survival. They're really important and destroying certain bombs that make your games alot harder. 3 Witness' are gross. They give everything you have flashback with a body. 4 FTK/ 3 Baloth are the beats. You need some fat to actually apply substantial pressure and at least form a nice clock. The utility added on is just cake.

The wishboard is pretty standard. Tsunami for Gro/Solidarity/Landstill. Pyroclasm for Goblins. Shatterstorm for Affinity. Anarchy for AngelStompy or any white aggro, and Cranial Extraction for Life from the Loam, Opposing Survivals, Helldozers when IBA get back into legacy, and just a general card that isn't an answer to use B-Wish for. Goblin Pyromancer is Duh, obviously. Loaming Shaman is for *****, or even IGGY. Anything Graveyard heavy, especially Thresh, who can lock up your ground with blockers, and extend right into Loaming Shaman. Plague is for Goblins, and is pretty good all around. Clerics. Birds. Merfolk. Touchin ALOT o' bases there. Pyrostatic Pillar is just a fuckin MVP. Solidarity - Iggy - TES - Eggs - Thresh - Gro, it always comes in. It's good good good, way better than REB or Sirrocco or something of that sort.

So there you have it. My honest attempt at producing something relevant and at least powerful in a competant players hands. It feels alot like old school Hulk Smash. The best cards that the 3 colors have to offer, welding together in a soup of awesomesauce. The bombs just keep dropping, and you can still go apeshit with survival when it drops. I like the deck alot, and I know it's alot different than ATS, but this is the only place where modern survival builds should be discussed methinks. I'm not saying that this deck is strictly better, not at all, I'm just saying that Tradewind Rider didn't feel all that strong to me. Tinder wall felt like I had to overextend to produce anything, and Werebear felt out of place. Confidant, however, is absolutely broken, and this is just another take on the archtype. I hope you like it.

Di
02-27-2007, 10:32 PM
K..but, you could've just posted all that jazz in the RGBSA thread, since you know, that list above is a different version of RGBSA.

Now, onto the juice.


I've been thinking alot about the deck and any changes that it could take or directions it could go. Basically... I never felt confidant going into a matchup. The deck always seemed to give me a whole boatload of accelerants with nothing to dump the mana into when Survival didn't stick. I never felt dominant. I didn't feel like I was locking anyone out of the game, and without Survival I didn't feel like I could do anything but generate boatloads of mana and do Tradewind tricks.


First, if you're not feeling confident going into a matchup to begin with, then I'm assuming you aren't a confident player in general. Unless I'm playing against combo, I go into pretty much every matchup with confidence. That's reflected in your play. You can't limp into a matchup hoping to smash the opponent.

Sometimes you can stall, sometimes you go retarded. It will happen.


I wanted more discard and more fat. I wanted more bombs and less Tinder wall (which was bad for me all day). Werebear seemed out of place and Bone shredder was pretty bad too. Overall, I had a good tournament, yet I really wanted some changes.

Did you play against Goblins at all? Tinder Wall is like, the best card you can get in that matchup. If it was bad for you all day then I'm assuming you played mostly against decks like Threshold or something of the like. You know, not aggro. Which is why it's there. Tinder Wall's main priority is Goblins, not acceleration. That's merely a bonus. Bone Shredder is a necessary evil. He's a lot weaker than FTK, but he kills things FTK can't, and a turn faster. I'm baffled how you dislike Werebear. He's pretty much become the norm in aggressive Survival decks, being the cheapest beatstick available.



Tradewind rider has lost his flare for me. Without Seedborn and the deck built around him he's often not survivaled for because winning with combat damage is a better option most of the time. I spent more mana trying to get TWR/QR/3randomcritters than I can remember, and getting FTKs and blowing their shit to hell would have been stronger and left a stronger board position considering their life total actually being in danger. Confidant has to be 4-of. He's just so fucking good.

This really leads me to believe that you just played the deck incorrectly. It is nothing like the older builds. You aren't supposed to be wasting your time with Tradewind tricks and locking the game up. Tradewind Rider is there to force damage through when possible, and to play defense when necessary. You can't win through the attack phase when Exalted Angels and Mystic Enforcers are in your face. It's not there to win the game. If getting FTK and bashing was the better play, then why weren't you just doing that? The main point of this deck is to play very aggressively using all the resources possible, and it seems like you were just trying to dance around with it.


I'm not going to critique the deck because I don't think it belongs in here (but will offer some suggestions), but it doesn't look bad. Duress should be Cabal Therapy though, because that will hit a Goblin Lackey and has better synergy overall with the deck, I would drop the Quirion Ranger because it's a wasted slot when your only use for it is Rofellos, and despite what you believe a Bone Shredder should be in there because pro-red men or x/x>4 men will eat you alive. Exalted Angel comes to mind.

troopatroop
02-27-2007, 11:24 PM
This really leads me to believe that you just played the deck incorrectly. It is nothing like the older builds. You aren't supposed to be wasting your time with Tradewind tricks and locking the game up. Tradewind Rider is there to force damage through when possible, and to play defense when necessary. You can't win through the attack phase when Exalted Angels and Mystic Enforcers are in your face. It's not there to win the game. If getting FTK and bashing was the better play, then why weren't you just doing that? The main point of this deck is to play very aggressively using all the resources possible, and it seems like you were just trying to dance around with it.


I'm not going to critique the deck because I don't think it belongs in here (but will offer some suggestions), but it doesn't look bad. Duress should be Cabal Therapy though, because that will hit a Goblin Lackey and has better synergy overall with the deck, I would drop the Quirion Ranger because it's a wasted slot when your only use for it is Rofellos, and despite what you believe a Bone Shredder should be in there because pro-red men or x/x>4 men will eat you alive. Exalted Angel comes to mind.

I didn't go for Tradewinds when it was incorrect to do so, because tradewind is a very safe play, and is very easily defendable. It's safe against STP and generally makes every one of your threats stronger. The point I was making is that it just seems out of place now. Even if it's purpose is to force through damage or stall according to the position... it's pretty bad at doing that against goblins or without a board full of critters. And if you're trying to force through damage... You're taking away 3 creatures to bounce one and send creatures into the red zone? That unlikely situation is assuming that you DONT have Survival, ( Because you could just tutor for removal (Or Guilded Drake if the situation was relevant)) You have 4 + creatures on the board, and your opponent is sitting back on a big creature to block. As far as I'm concerned, getting through damage isn't a very supportable argument. Stalling... sure, but that's the thing. I don't think it's neccessary, or even all that common of a situation anymore. When you resolve Survival now... Tradewinds become terrible because they aren't an aggressive card. I guess it's just wierd NOT having them be the core of the deck, that's all. The only really great thing I could see missing is losing alot of come into play tricks with Witness/FTK/CartographerAKAMowgli lol, but even those are mana intensive and stop you from attacking for that turn.

It's Duress over Therapy because it's better against combo and can't whiff. Goblins is less of an issue for the deck than the combo match, and Cabal therapy doesn't really help much in the Goblins matchup anyways. Besides, the deck runs alot less creatures that it can sac and not worry about. Duress seems much safer to me and more appropriate with the theme of the deck. Resolve a Bomb and ride it all the way.

Basically, I like ATS. I'll probably still play it, but I'm finding it hard to support some of the card choices. It's hard to challenge your views on the topic of Survival because you wrote the book, but I'm going to take it into a new direction, No harm no foul.

AngryTroll
02-28-2007, 01:47 AM
I don't want to step on anyone's toes, but the difference between Troopatroop's list and modern RGBSA are as follows:

Troopatroop to RGBSA
-4 Dark Confidant
-2 or 3 Tin Street Hooligan
-1 Quirion Ranger
-3 Llanowar Elves
-2 Jitte

+4 Werebear
+1 Birds of Paradise
+1 Duress
+3 Cabal Therapy
+1 Tin Street Hooligan / Indrik Stomphowler
+1 Bone Shredder
+ 2 Basics

Werebears replace Elves because they beat, and you have 7 other one drops, and Bobs aren't in the list because I (and everyone else) haven't worked on it since Bob was established as amazing (Shame on me for playing Thresh). The only real differences are Bob and Jitte vs Duress and some extra land.

As far as EATS goes, I like the change from RGBSA, but I am not sure it is worth it. Tinder wall is just sexy, though. I'm going to keep playing with it, but I am not sure it will end up being better then the RGB version of Survival.

Di
02-28-2007, 01:55 PM
Even if it's purpose is to force through damage or stall according to the position... it's pretty bad at doing that against goblins or without a board full of critters. And if you're trying to force through damage... You're taking away 3 creatures to bounce one and send creatures into the red zone? T

Generally if you're going to be tapping creatures other than Tradewind Rider, it will be those who won't be attacking ala Birds of Paradise, Tinder Wall, Rofellos, or Quirion Ranger. Generally you will have any combination of 2 of those on the board, so it really doesn't hinder your attack.


You have 4 + creatures on the board, and your opponent is sitting back on a big creature to block. As far as I'm concerned, getting through damage isn't a very supportable argument.

It is, because this deck isn't designed to sit back and play control and fiddle around while the opponent does things. This deck in many aspects is RGBSA with some variability to it. Unlike the deck of old, I'm trying to win the game as fast as possible, so that damage does matter. These days decks can turn against you very quickly with a single draw, so you need to be able to strike as quickly as possible.


When you resolve Survival now... Tradewinds become terrible because they aren't an aggressive card

This would depend on the situation. If I resolve a Survival and my opponent is sitting on two lands, I'm going to go nuts and attack his manabase. It all depends on the gamestate to determine when it will be an aggressive card or a defensive card, but that's what I really like about it. No other creature in the deck can change its gameplan like that.


Cabal therapy doesn't really help much in the Goblins matchup anyways. Besides, the deck runs alot less creatures that it can sac and not worry about.

Excuse me? Cabal Therapy hitting Goblin Lackey doesn't help? What about a Ringleader after they cast Matron. Or after they play Matron in general? What about Gempalm Incincerator? Honestly have you used Therapy against Goblins? Post-board I keep them in every time because they are just as good as removal.


Basically, I like ATS. I'll probably still play it, but I'm finding it hard to support some of the card choices. It's hard to challenge your views on the topic of Survival because you wrote the book, but I'm going to take it into a new direction, No harm no foul.

That's fine, and I applaud you for it.


@ RGBSA differences.

I wasn't stating that his decklist was RGBSA really, but I was merely saying that it is far more similiar to that than EATS.



Also on an unrelated note, I actually am currently debating dropping the 2nd Tradewind and 2nd Rofellos(maybe). It's not that I feel their slots are weak, but I'm trying to figure out what needs more improvement. I've been tossing some ideas in the air lately, mainly a 3rd FTK, possible 4th Dark Confidant although I dislike it, a 2nd Tin Street Hooligan, a 20th land, and some other slots. Not really sure though.

Iranon
02-28-2007, 04:01 PM
I think it may be that I'm the only Survival player running both Quirion Ranger and Rofellos.

Not quite - I like the mana ramping to power out a combo finish (Kiki-Jiki + Sky Hussar, usually assisted by a Karmic Guide to ease colour requirements). Going through all the effort merely to achieve Threshold or machine-gun weenies seems a waste :)

Your recent posts explaining how your finished version plays has sparked my interest anew; my list was slightly crude - winning combo, beaters and support creatures, very little in the way of utility. I dismissed the 'control-ish' aspects as irrelevant because the plan was to win quickly, decisively and through brute force; apparently I should have tested traditional parts in new roles more thoroughly before dismissing them.

Thank you for the erudite analysis; it helps understand the deck and even helps refining completely different ones ;)

Vardaman
02-28-2007, 04:15 PM
@troopatroop's RGB list: Consider -1 FTK, +1 Masticore. you're already running the Rofellos and Ranger so you have that hook-up built in. Plus, he gives you another Survivalable answer to pro-red dudes and Mother of Runes besides the Anarchy.
For the side, I prefer Seeds of Innocence over Shatterstorm since 1GG is way easier on the mana base than 2RR. It's also nice to be able to wish and play it on the same turn.

Sorry I didn't quote your list for reference but the last two times I tried to do that Mozilla crashed on me.

Di
02-28-2007, 04:33 PM
@troopatroop's RGB list: Consider -1 FTK, +1 Masticore. you're already running the Rofellos and Ranger so you have that hook-up built in. Plus, he gives you another Survivalable answer to pro-red dudes and Mother of Runes besides the Anarchy.
For the side, I prefer Seeds of Innocence over Shatterstorm since 1GG is way easier on the mana base than 2RR. It's also nice to be able to wish and play it on the same turn.

I forgot to mention the Masticore. If you keep Ranger, Masticore should be in there. If Ranger is dropped, it should be an FTK. Mother of Runes can seriously gives decks like these fits (another reason why Tradewind Rider is so good. Just ask Mr. Nightmare how the deck fought through 4 Mother of Runes and 2 Meddling Mage on the table.)

Also, I think Meltdown is better than both Seeds and Shatterstorm. Seeds really interferes with the whole aggro plan when you give them a bunch of life to play with, and Shatterstorm is RR. Not that RR should be an issue, but it would probably not be able to be played until the turn after, as having RRR on one turn is rare without Tinder Wall. Meltdown has a flexible casting cost, and considering the highest cc artifact in the format is what..4,5(?) it shouldn't be an issue. Also, in that list you run 3 Tin Street anyway, so it probably wouldn't be used too often.

Vardaman
02-28-2007, 06:17 PM
I forgot to mention the Masticore. If you keep Ranger, Masticore should be in there. If Ranger is dropped, it should be an FTK. Mother of Runes can seriously gives decks like these fits (another reason why Tradewind Rider is so good. Just ask Mr. Nightmare how the deck fought through 4 Mother of Runes and 2 Meddling Mage on the table.)

Also, I think Meltdown is better than both Seeds and Shatterstorm. Seeds really interferes with the whole aggro plan when you give them a bunch of life to play with, and Shatterstorm is RR. Not that RR should be an issue, but it would probably not be able to be played until the turn after, as having RRR on one turn is rare without Tinder Wall. Meltdown has a flexible casting cost, and considering the highest cc artifact in the format is what..4,5(?) it shouldn't be an issue. Also, in that list you run 3 Tin Street anyway, so it probably wouldn't be used too often.

The lifegain isn't serious and wouldn't say it really interferes with the aggro plan. I'm fine with affinity gaining 8 life if it makes them pick up their board. I can see one good aspect for Meltdown is when/if you want to kill a Pithing Needle w/o killing your Jitte. Of course, then you could wish for Hull Breach so it doesn't matter much.

jazzykat
02-28-2007, 07:37 PM
Meltdown has a flexible casting cost, and considering the highest cc artifact in the format is what..4,5(?) it shouldn't be an issue. Also, in that list you run 3 Tin Street anyway, so it probably wouldn't be used too often.

Theoretically it is 7 for Myr Enforcer otherwise I think you are right.

Di
03-02-2007, 03:08 AM
Just a small update. I've been doing a bit of testing with the slight changes in the decklist last couple of days, toying with a number of different cards and slots. I'm doing this because the midgame performance needs to be better. I've been happy with it so far, but it could definately improve.

Cards that I've been testing:

- 3rd FTK. Additional removal and beater is always good. A solid midgame draw without Survival, and with it makes any aggro matchup a little better.

- 4th Dark Confidant. This has been a love/hate thing for me. Despite my prior judgments, I believe I might just end up going to 4 because of the likelyhood of the first one being countered/destroyed, and it is certainly a poweful midgame draw.

- 2nd Quirion Ranger. I actually want this slot a lot, because Ranger plays an integral role in the gameplan with the deck, as well as a great defense for Wasteland. However, I'm unsure if it's better than the slot that is currently in its place (Rofellos) simply because Rofellos is much more powerful.

- 20th land. This is my least favorite of the choices, but I figured I'd try it out. Generally, unless it's like some long control matchup, I don't want to see more than 4 land a game. More is nice of course, but it means I'm not drawing threats. Very rarely do I find myself begging for lands, and more often than not I end the game with more in play than I need/want. But still, it doesn't hurt to try it. I haven't seen too huge of a difference with it yet, but it's early in testing.

- 2nd Ravenous Baloth. It hasn't been amazing, but nothing spectacular. In the matchups this matters in (for the most part), I'd rather just take the FTK.

- Plaxmanta. This was in my list for about 3 months, and I cut him about a week prior to the GAGG. I felt his only strong matchup was Goblins, and if I was going to run a maindeck card that is really only good in that matchup, it'd be Pyromancer. However, I'm not going to make my slots that narrow, so it's most likely not making the cut.

- Orcish Settlers. I run Rofellos and I run Quirion Ranger. I add like 8-10 mana by turn 4-5. That's gotta be worth something. Even destroying something like 3 lands would be game changing if I have a Survival on the table. However, the way I see it is if I'm able to add that amount of mana, I should be killing the opponent in a turn anyway with a storm of beatsticks, so I'm leaning against doing the cool thing here. However, it does have a lot of perks to it, so I'll be giving it a bit more testing.

- 2nd Tin Street Hooligan. This isn't bad by any means because of all the potential problems there are with Needle, Vial, Jitte, Affinity, etc. However outside of that he's terrible. If Needle is the problem, I'm thinking another Dark Confidant would be better in this slot just to draw through it rather than killing it considering Survival might not be on the table anyway.

- Mesmeric Fiend. There's just been a lot of times where tutoring up a Duress could be really beneficial. Overall though he's an incredibly weak maindeck slot that doesn't beat so I'm not sure if it weighs up.

As for cards that I'm potentially removing, there are unfortunately very few:

- 2nd Tradewind Rider. For me this is a very tough call because its replacement's uses would be limited compared to this, but I'm trying to figure out if the potential advantages of a replacement would end up being better. It all depends on what I replace it with though. This has been the slot that most of the cards listed above have been tried in, and so far I'm not overly amazed, but not dismissing anything. An FTK would make sense for aggro because it will 2-for-1 them while providing a clock, but I lose the potential defensive position that FTK can poorly deal with while something like 2 Tradewind Riders would always win. Bob provides the cards, but needs to draw into them. Nowhere on Dark Confidant does is say "permanent removal." The other slots didn't really compete much with it, because they lower my removal count, but that doesn't mean I'm overly against them.

- 2nd Rofellos. This one's a tossup, because basically the primary cards that would replace it are one's that affect the manabase, being Q Ranger and a Forest. This is actually a very difficult choice to make, because the advantages of each slot are really high. For the moment I'm sticking with the 2nd Rofellos, simply because he is the biggest target in the deck, and it's really annoying the work to get him back after it dies.

- 4th Cabal Therapy. This is probably not going to change, but being one of the weaker midgame draws, I figured I'd test it anyway. I haven't seen a huge difference yet, but the fact that it puts me with one less turn 1 answer to Lackey and combo disrupter is a huge turnoff. I'll probably sacrifice a mediocre midgame draw for a solid early-game disruption spell.

- 3rd Werebear. This is another slot that probably won't end up changing, because I added them in this deck for their midgame strength. Midgame you will almost always have Threshold, so it'll never be a bad draw, and it provides early acceleration. With Survival, you churn out all 3 of them and win the game. But still, it's worth seeing if a change would be better, but I doubt it.

That's just the maindeck. Now onto the sideboard.

For the most part I've been happy with the sideboard because it fulfills my needs of the rougher matchups. But there's still probably room for improvement. My biggest gripe atm is with Hypnotic Specter. I added it because it provides a recursive discard outlet against decks like Solidarity which is rather huge because they can beat through this deck after a Duress or 2. However he's slow. Unless I'm with a turn 1 BoP play for the turn 2 Hippy, he isn't online until turn 4. And against Solidarity, this means I can probably expect him to be Remanded turn 3, so I play him turn 4, try to attack turn 5, and lose in response. I'm just thinking a more immediate solution might be a better idea. I haven't tested it yet, but I'm debating cutting them to go back to a 3rd Mesmeric Fiend and add a 3rd Arcane Lab. Arcane Lab is freaking nuts right now. The Tendrils-based decks in the format just sort of die to it, and Solidarity has only 3 outs to it, giving you plenty of time to disrupt them and/or kill them. A lot of people like Pyrostatic Pillar, but I think it's easier to play around that because Solidarity can board in Blast if they want, and Tendrils decks can do a double Tendrils play on you. Another option is Cabal Interrogator. He's really good because he's recurring discard as well and cheaper, but he pretty much limits me from playing other spells that turn. Headhunter is a possibility, providing discard every turn for a cheaper cost but at the price of them choosing it. I really don't know, I'm just throwing out options here.

Basically anyone who's working with the deck please try out some of those ideas I was working with to see if you're finding anything good out as well, and if you're trying other things not mentioned to success let me know. :)

SpatulaOfTheAges
03-02-2007, 01:55 PM
My biggest gripe atm is with Hypnotic Specter. I added it because it provides a recursive discard outlet against decks like Solidarity which is rather huge because they can beat through this deck after a Duress or 2. However he's slow. Unless I'm with a turn 1 BoP play for the turn 2 Hippy, he isn't online until turn 4. And against Solidarity, this means I can probably expect him to be Remanded turn 3, so I play him turn 4, try to attack turn 5, and lose in response. I'm just thinking a more immediate solution might be a better idea.


Plus, it's 4 mana Ninjitsu didn't help much because it was so slow. The option of getting Hippy down turn 2 is insanely good against decks like Thresh or Solidarity, so that's why it's there.

So you know that Okiba will swing the same turn as Hyppie, can't be Remanded, does more damage, and isn't double black, right?

Di
03-02-2007, 03:56 PM
This is true. Thank you for bringing that back up. I'm surprised he escaped my radar of cards worth testing. I'll be trying him out in that slot, but for now I'm going with the following change:

-2 Hypnotic Specter
+1 Duress
+1 Mesmeric Fiend

If Okiba-Gang proves to be better then I'll definately be using him. However, Okiba doesn't have the option of being played turn 2. That was one of the perks for Hippy.

Lego
03-02-2007, 06:25 PM
However, Okiba doesn't have the option of being played turn 2. That was one of the perks for Hippy.

But he can actually be swinging on Turn 3, which is essentially the same thing. Without any testing to base it on, it seems about as difficult to get a turn 2 Hyppy as it does to get a turn 3 swinging Okiba, although I might be wrong there. Also, if you topdeck him a little later, Okiba can swing the turn you topdeck him, without an Anger. Once Survival is active, they seem about equal. If I pick the deck up again though, I'll test him out.

CynicalSquirrel
03-03-2007, 04:06 PM
Have you tested Trinket Mage in this deck at all? I've been playing it a lot in Extended and it really shines, it seems like in Legacy it could be even better. You only have to run one or two maybe, but then you can get things like Engineered Explosives, Tormod's Crypt, or Pithing Needle, which all help the Goblins/Thresh matchup, and some other ones as well. You can also run a single Sensei's Divining Top to fetch to negate life loss from Confidant and strengthen your draws.

I wouldn't know what to cut though, and it could potentially raise the number of non-creatures a little high. Just an idea I had, since I've been trying to port Trinket Mage into Legacy for awhile now.

Ta Jugs
03-09-2007, 06:04 PM
Alright I can't recall some of the issues exactly as thay happened but while I was at the TMLO 2 I played this and the mana base seemed to be an issue. While I was playing it seems like against goblins and when survival is not online you HAVE to get to 4 mana which is really hard to do around port and wasteland. And when you finally do get to 4 it seems to be the wrong color or something. Also situations have come up when it is like "omg if I draw a land right here I will win the game" but I missed sveral times. My guess is this deck is running too little mana sources. You also don't want to sack wall for mana against goblins early because both blocking and the shock ability is very very helpful. Alnother situation has come up where you doing fine than all of the suddenn they kill your 1/1 mana producing guy and waste your land and you immediatly lose board position. I have no idea of whether or not these issues have been talked about before as I NEVER read deck threads but like I said sorry I can't recall EXACT situations. Playing this deck only once I have no right to criticize this deck and I would'nt because this deck is very good and fun to play. If you tweak some of the cards I am sure you could make this deck perform better.

Di
03-10-2007, 08:39 PM
I ended up cutting the 2nd Rofellos for the 20th land. It's the same number of mana sources, but I came to the conclusion it's more important to have those early land drops that the busted mana acceleration. The primary reason I ran the 2nd Rofellos was for Goblins because they pick him off so easily, but in testing today with Goblins against Nightmare, roughly 7-8 games not a lot I know, but I used Rofellos in only one game and I won a majority of them, so I guess I overestimated how important he was to the matchup.


EDIT: I forgot to mention about the land that it is currently a 4th Forest. That's obviously the best choice for it, but lately I've really been craving a 3rd Taiga. It's just that double Wasteland, in the rare event that occurs, really hinders my red mana supply. If I were to go to the 3rd Taiga, it'd most likely be for that 4th Forest. The other contender would be the 4th Tropical Island, however I feel that it's important to have as many blue mana sources as possible turn 1 for Brainstorm, and removing one could possibly hurt those chances.

hi-val
03-10-2007, 11:13 PM
Other discard options include Sadistic Hypnotist and Cao Cao, Lord of Wei (combine with Anger and/or Ranger for sexy time explosion).

I'm not sure if you feel like 5-mana tutored bullets come down fast enough but given a little bit of stall, I'd want to be resolving one of those two.

thefreakaccident
04-02-2007, 02:15 AM
The first time I ever picked up ATS was a year ago... I got first place at a local tourney (about 30 people).
I then built my own in a couple of weeks and began playing with it religiously, coming to a top 5 finish about every week. I recently stopped playing it though, due to the extreme rise in quick combo and aggro control in my meta (I have a tough time with solidarity). I recently added black to my color scheme, which isn't all that creative.. seeing that you guys have been doing that for a while.
With the new black splash I have been able to bring the matchups to either wins or 50/50 games... I will be going to a tourney soon with my build, which I will tell you guys later (It is quite late, about midnight over here).... I will give a report along with my build/ choices/ questions for my build... it may seem a little bit less aggro, and a little bit more control; but that is my personal preferance... If you perfer a little disruption with mass beats, hey go for it... I am usually the guy that plays mass control and kills you with a factory just to be a jerk :cool: . So untilo saturday my fellow M plyrs. There are also some large differences in my build to some of the others in circulation, I guess it is just my own difference in playstyle...

The Djinn
04-25-2007, 03:54 PM
I've been thinking about the 2nd Witness. As you don't need it very often, it may be an idea to replace it. The replacement needs to work without Survival and with that in mind I came to the following options:

Mesmeric Fiend (more maindeck combo hate, trick with Tradewind)
Quirion Ranger (extra utility creature, Ranger is important in saving your duals from Wasteland and other LD)
Ravenous Baloth (more lifegain to deal with Bob and aggro)
Spike Feeder (see Baloth, but getting this with Bob hurts less, secret tech with Tradewind)
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary (more mana = good, but legendary...)
Nothing (makes the deck 60 cards)

I will be testing this deck the coming weeks and start with a M.Fiend instead of 1 Witness. I'll report back my findings :wink:

Happy Gilmore
04-25-2007, 04:18 PM
I was under the impression that EATS uses Fow and more blue cards? I really like the new setup but I wonder when it changed over from that earlier version. Tinderwall seems retarded against goblins. All in all it seams much more streamline, solid. Now I have to go ahead and survival back together :rolleyes: .

Some questions though:

1. Is Dark Confidant all that good when you only have 4 disruption spells to draw into?

2. Do you feel 1 Tin-street Hooligan is enough?

3. Is Bone Shredder better than another FTk Considering you run 4x Tinder wall?

4. What is the best game plan post-board vs. Storm combo?

5. Considering the number of blue and Red cards in the deck wouldn't it be better to run 4 Taiga and 3 Tropical Island?

The Djinn
04-25-2007, 04:26 PM
5. Considering the number of blue and Red cards in the deck wouldn't it be better to run 4 Taiga and 3 Tropical Island?

The 4 Trops are necessary to play a 1st turn Brainstorm. The red mana is not needed that early. FTK and Tin Street cannot be played turn 1. By the time you need it, you'll probably have Birds, Tinder Wall and/or Taiga in play.

The other red cards (Squee, Anger) are supposed to be in your graveyard or in your hand to use with Survival.

Di
04-25-2007, 07:11 PM
I was under the impression that EATS uses Fow and more blue cards? I really like the new setup but I wonder when it changed over from that earlier version

Like 6-7 months ago. You are really behind the times man. First you post about 300 like a month after it's blown by, then you wonder where the FoWs are. I'm just pickin on ya, but seriously what's going on?


1. Is Dark Confidant all that good when you only have 4 disruption spells to draw into?

Dark Confidant is there to act as a means of draw outside of Survival of the Fittest. I feel my deck works better than any of the other Anger-based Survival decks (I say Anger based because the GBW control builds have a much different agenda, therefore it isn't even comparable) because I have access to a lot of draw outside of SotF with Confidant and Brainstorm. It is possible to run Sylvan Library or even Sensei's Divining Top in this slot, but they don't have the synergy with the deck like Bob does. (Survival use, Therapy, Tradewind, etc)


2. Do you feel 1 Tin-street Hooligan is enough?

Why shouldn't you? Pithing Needle is not the worst card for this deck. In fact, Pithing Needle isn't that big of a deal at all. Of course Tin-Street is also good against other stuff, but there just isn't space in the maindeck. That's what a sideboard is for. For reference this is my current sideboard:

3 Engineered Plague
3 Duress
2 Mesmeric Fiend
2 Krosan Grip
2 Arcane Lab
2 Null Rod
1 Goblin Pyromancer

Yea it's kind of ugly but so far it's been working. I recently moved a Mesmeric into the maindeck, but that slot is debatable at this point. However, the sideboard now has access to a good amount of combo hate, all the while packing Null Rods for Affinity/combo/equipment and Krosan Grips, as I've been having difficulty with a few unmentionable enchantments....


3. Is Bone Shredder better than another FTk Considering you run 4x Tinder wall?

If you've read through the thread then you'd understand the reasoning behind Bone Shredder. 9/10 times it'd be better suited as an FTK because it hits more and is bigger, but FTK can't touch pro-red men, nor can it touch anything with an ass > 5. It isn't all that common the situation comes up, but when it does FTK isn't able to bail you out.


4. What is the best game plan post-board vs. Storm combo?

Stop them by any means necessary through heavy discard and dropping anti-combo bombs (Lab, Rod). These are the cards I board in for combo:

Duress
Mesmeric Fiend
Null Rod
Arcane Lab
Engineered Plague (Empty the Warrens)
Goblin Pyromancer (occasionally for Warrens)


5. Considering the number of blue and Red cards in the deck wouldn't it be better to run 4 Taiga and 3 Tropical Island?

As The Djinn already stated it's important to be able to cast Brainstorm turn 1. Also, you still have more red sources in the deck due to Tinder Wall.

Happy Gilmore
04-25-2007, 07:52 PM
Like 6-7 months ago. You are really behind the times man. First you post about 300 like a month after it's blown by, then you wonder where the FoWs are. I'm just pickin on ya, but seriously what's going on?


Sigh, what can I say. My brain is on a one month delay. But seriously, I heard from "word of mouth" that you had rebuilt ATS with FoW and like 12 blue cards or something. I never bothered to look at it after I heard that. I like the current list a lot more. Especially how Tradewind is used as a utility creature rather than the main strategy. I especially like how it replaces the Enchantment removal slot while still being effective in other ways.